I recently bought the new Cmotion Compact. I haven't seen much information here or in the web in general, except from Cmotions's web:
So I thought I would introduce it myself.
I saw it for the first time in Cinec, last September, and I thought it was worth to keep an eye on it. I made a preorder and they finally started shipping last month. I have had mine for two weeks and so far so good.
The Cforce motors are very fast, and very silent as well. I tested them side by side with Scorpio motors and they were much more silent. I believe they are build by Arri, or maybe just some of the parts are build by Arri, I can't assure that.
Calibration is quite fast, takes seconds. I haven't compare it with others. But both AC's that have used it so far think it's very fast too.
The Camin (motor drive box) is small, compact and lightweight, very good for hand held and Steadicam. It has a 1/4 16 hole in one side, and in the center of the back it has a "rossete" to screw the Cfast rod connector. A bracket that Cmotion includes in the package to put the Camin in 15 or 19mm bars.
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They use a daisy chain system to link the motors, so each motor powers and conects to the next one. This keeps the Camin smaller, with minimum conectors, and cables tidy.
You can select which motor you use for focus, Iris or zoom in the handunit menu. The pressets you choose will keep saved in the menu, so you can mark the motors (each motor has a small white "board" to mark them, but the handunit also recognizes each motor serial number) for F, I or Z control and use the same motor for each control every time, or you can change them easily and select the motor control each time in the handunit menu.
The hand unit, the first time I saw it, I thought it was very different from any other I had seen, its design it's quite "daring" I thought, but surely very ergonomic and comfortable. A bit too long maybe, but still very lightweight, and with the battery inside, at the bottom of the handle, the weight balances very well.
The knob is obviously very smooth, it's a shame that you will not be able to use Cmotion's Advanced Knob with the Compact system, so you have no control of friction and adjustable physical limits in the knob.
The menu is very easy and intuitive, you can adjust the torque, direction and ramp of the motors.
You can download the user guide in Cmotion's web site and see more details about it.
I'm not an AC, haven't used other systems on a professional level, so I've asked a focus puller friend of mine to test it, and last week I rented it in a TVC and the focus puller also liked it.
He was very impressed with how fast it was. He had to do a long focus change from background to foreground and he said it worked great.
Very lightweight, he said, and he didn't even used half a battery in a 14 hour day.
The only weak point he mentioned (of course it must be mentioned as well) is the Iris control. It's not a slider button, but a rocker button in the back side of the hand unit. It's comfortable to use, but you can't mark the stops in the hand unit. He didn't have any problem because it was hand held, not on a crane, so he could see the stop in the lens, and the DOP was exposing with a monitor, so he was never asked to change to an specific stop, but still, he would have changed that.
The joystick control for the Zoom (or iris or focus, you can choose any option of control) works great, very sensitive. You can adjust the speed for the joystick and rocker button fast and easy with the menu controls.
In general is a great system to have in consideration for anyone with a budget.
I guess many of you know Cmotion already, but just in case I have to mention that they have a great customer service. I dealt with Clemens Hoenig through the whole process, and he was always very helpful by email or on the phone. Always replied very fast, answered all my questions and solved all my problems before and, most importantly, after the selling.
I hope this helps, and excuse any grammatical mistakes.
I might post photos in the near future.
All the best,
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